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Change, for the most part, is a good thing. But not everyone is comfortable with change. Sometimes, the one thing you've grown accustomed to is the last thing you want to change, even if it's for the better. Such is the subject of this week's Soapbox. Adam uses Madden NFL 11's new Game Flow system as an example of how innovations within a gaming franchise, even if they're for the better, can often anger their core fanbase. What do you think of the Game Flow system? How do you feel about the character model changes in Infamous 2?

Sessler's Soapbox: Changing the Game is a Good Thing »



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Shaun White Skateboarding

Shaun White might be best known for his snowboarding, but he's a skater too, and this fall, we'll be able to check out his moves on land in Shaun White Skateboarding, a game that promises to add a fully-fleshed out story and some interesting new gameplay elements to the skate game genre. Tom Price got an early look at this colorful game, and was impressed with the tranformative gameplay:

"The concept at the core of Shaun White Skateboarding is best exemplified by the word 'transformation.'  What the developers mean when they use the word repeatedly throughout demos of the game, is your ability to transform the game world, turning a drab, gray city into a colorful skatepark wonderland."

Read the rest of our Shaun White Skateboarding preview,

Madden NFL 11

Football season is almost upon us and that means--you guessed it--it's Madden time. Every year, a very special ritual passes and punts its way into our little virtual hears. Friends become enemies because of undefended 40-yard bombs or, perhaps, because you know how to effectively use hot routes and they don't.

Devotees to the series understand the importance of picking up the game every year, but for the more casual Madden players, the reason might be less clear. That's why we called on our resident sports game expert Mike D'Alonzo to break down and review Madden NFL 11 for us: 

"The first thing you're going to notice with Madden NFL 11 is the new GameFlow playcalling system, which simulates the way games are actually called in today's NFL. Your offensive and defensive coordinators call in plays from your situational playbook, saving you valuable time flipping through page after page of plays trying to figure out what you're going to do before you run down the :40 clock and incur a delay of game penalty."

To find out more about this year's iteration of the game, read Mike's in-depth review!

Slave Leia, Cheesy Baseball Cards, Balls To The Face

I'm sure no one will disagree, getting beaned is not a pleasant experience. Though I've never been hit in the face with a baseball like Jimmy Rollins (pictured above), I have whiffed on a few passes playing basketball and taken one off the schnoz. Additionally, I once had a golfball ricochet off of my cranium, although luckily it was on the way down and not in the beginning of it's high speed flight path. Therefore, I can feel the pain of the people in the pictures in one of today's links who are all about to get domed and have the requisite expression of horror to go with it. Check it out along with a gallery of Slave Leias, some funny baseball cards and more.

  • Uncoached has an excellent gallery of people who either are about to be or have just been hit in the face with a ball.
  • Supertremendous has 30 of the worst baseball cards of all time. Many of them involve mustaches and the 1970s and 1980s.
  • If you haven't already watched Dinner For Schmucks, FilmDrunk will let you know why you should keep it that way.
  • Like most people, I thought Inception was awesome. But CollegeHumor is hear to break down some of the more ludricrous plot points.

Top 5 Unqualified-To-Be Golf Games

As the vast majority of you are obviously aware, the 92nd annual PGA Championship, the final golf major of the year, kicks off at Whistling Straights in Kohler, Wisconsin on August 12. And while the pros are busy preparing to battle the course’s famous fescue roughs, we figured we’d take a look back at some of the more…unique golf games that have graced various consoles and platforms over the years. We've already shown you the top golf games, so next up on the tee: the Top 5 Unqualified-to-be-Called Golf Games.

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Madden NFL 09

Former Bengals all-star running back Tony Davis, on behalf of over 6,000 retired NFL players, have filed a suit against Electronic Arts over the use of their likenesses in Madden NFL 09.

According to the players, Madden didn't use "classic" players'  actual names or numbers, but did swipe the actual stats of well-known players. According to the court filing:

"EA's commercial exploitation of retired NFL players is both blatant and prolific, as the 2009 version of the Madden NFL video game contained over 140 'historic teams' containing likenesses of thousands of retired NFL players. EA was fully aware of its use of the retired players' likenesses was without authorization and that a license was needed."

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EA Announces Fight Night Champion

Fight Night Champion is coming out on the Playstation 3 and the 360, so you might think the game would feature support for the Move or Kinect. Boxing seems the perfect fit for the motion control systems, right? Wrong.

According to EA  producer Brian Hayes, gamers are just too out-of-shape to handle realistic boxing action. "It's a little bit too twitch-based, not to mention the fact that standing on your feet for three minutes and throwing punches is something that, believe it or not, might be beyond the fitness level of most gamers." Hayes said.

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NHL Slapshot Wii Game

It would be easy to dismiss NHL Slapshot as a silly kids game sight unseen. It's for the Wii. It comes with a fake plastic hockey stick to stick your Wiimote in. Part of the game involves playing 3 on 3 pee-wee hockey. But don't be so quick to judge. According to our previewer Harold Goldberg, Slapshot is pretty great... even the fake hockey stick adds to the experience.

"Overall, this is not just another Wii sports game for kids only. The graphics pop with 60 frames a second; you see reflections in the ice, along with ice spraying as you skate. Moreover, it’s fun to see your character grow and morph from a kid with cage-type helmet to an adult behemoth who puts fear in the eyes of opponents. And with a varied soundtrack that includes The Ramones, The Black Keys and Foxy Shazam, you’ll be tapping your toes as you skate. Too bad about the lack of online play, though."

Check out the rest of our NHL Slapshot preview, and try not to pre-judge in the future.





Are you ready for some football?! Madden NFL 11 football that is. Today we show you the Xbox 360 demo for Madden NFL 11 and for all of you who don't have gold membership on Xbox Live this is your chance to check out the demo and decide if you are going to pass, rent, or buy. In the Xbox 360 demo you have the option of choosing between the Colts or the Jets and each quarters are five minutes each.

Showing off their new feature called gameflow, will it be enough to capture the casual gamer into picking this title up? And after you watch the full demo, do you think this Madden has shown a significant improvement from the last Madden or have the same problems not been address?

Madden NFL 11 Xbox 360 Demo »


  

American Ninja Warrior Coming In December!

I'm about to rock your very soul to its core, Ninja Warrior fans. A second season of American Ninja Warrior will premiere in December on G4, and this time it's bigger, better and even more daring. Season two will also take viewers for the first time inside a live-in boot camp where 15 finalists will train together and compete to make it to the final 10 who will go to Japan for the legendary competition. The American competitor who can complete all four stages of the world’s toughest obstacle course in Japan with the fastest final stage time will win a $250,000 prize.

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Comic-Con 2010: NBA 2K11 Michael Jordan Teaser Trailer »


 

2K Sports announced a few weeks back that basketball legend Michael Jordan would not only be gracing the cover of NBA 2K11, but that he would be appearing in the game in some form as well. Today, 2K revealed one of the ways his royal airness will be incorporated into this year’s game, and it’s called the Jordan Challenge.

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NHL 2K11 First Look In The 2K Recreational Vehicle

Last week Jake Gaskill and myself had the opportunity to tour through the extremely snazzy NHL 2K11 Hockey RV of Awesomeness, where the air conditioners were working overtime to simulate a deep Canadian winter. Which actually benefitted our preview of the game because we could nearly see our breath.

We got to take a first look through the RV which 2K Sports has outfitted into a hockey lover's dream vehicle, and you can check out a ton of photographs from both inside and outside in our gallery. 2K will be crisscrossing both the United States and Canada in this sucker, bringing good tidings and NHL cheer to everyone up until the launch date on September 7. Check out the full schedule on their site and find out how you can play the game early, compete for prizes, and meet up with some hockey greats.

But you're probably wondering how this game plays, right? Like, is it even worth it to chase down this behemoth truck in order to get your fingers on the game? The short answer is: yes. For the long answer, keep reading.

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Get A First Look At LeBron James Playing For Miami in NBA 2k11

We're coming up on the 24 hour anniversary of LeBron James's announcement special where he revealed he would be leaving the sunny beaches of popular tourist destination Cleveland, Ohio for the downtrodden, barely traversed beaches of Miami, Florida. Come on LeBron. Don't you understand that you're trading delicious "FRESH OHIO CORN" and "CEDAR POINT" for hot chicks and swanky clubs? Pffft.

Anyway, 2K Sports knows that everyone is in a big hurry to see LeBron in a Heat jersey, so they released the above NBA 2K11 screenshot of King James in his new duds.

"I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THIS SCREENSHOT IS REAL."

You can take that to the bank.

What do you think? Does LeBron look better in a Miami Heat jersey or does he look like a big, giant, lying traitor who will never be able to show his face in his hometown again?* Please, feel free to discuss and share your honest opinion!

*A totally unbiased question from a girl born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio.

 





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TheFeed's Mostly Meaningless World Cup Final Predictions

Did you know that in the times of the Holy Roman Empire, as presided over by Charles V of Spain, the Netherlands was under Spanish rule? It wasn’t until 1581 that the seventeen provinces of the Netherlands region declared their independence under the Act of Abjuration, and then it wasn’t until 1648 when King Philip IV officially acknowledged it. What does this all mean?

It’s time to predict the World Cup Final.

Just like we did with the Super Bowl of American Throwball earlier this year, we’re referring to our Predictive Sciences and Intermediate Astrology (Fifth Ed.) textbooks in an effort to choose the winner of Sunday’s big game of NED vs. ESP. Soccer/Football/Himalayan Horseshoes is a complex sport, and many factors need to be seriously considered: tactical formations, first touch ability, stamina, maths, the attractive qualities of players’ significant others, and of course, cheese.

The winner of each category receives one point, and the final score will be converted to a result that can realistically happen in a soccer game.

Let’s begin.

(Entries by Andrew Pfister and Sterling McGarvey)

1. 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa

The first task is to see which country is superior on the field. For that, we’ll use EA’s 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa game. But instead of wussing out and simulating it, Andrew and Sterling played out the game in real-time, which ended up being about 17 minutes.

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E3 2010: NBA Jam Screenshots

There's mounting evidence Electronic Arts' continuing denial of NBA Jam's revival coming to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 isn't very true. So far, NBA Jam's remake is only confirmed for Wii, but GamerBytes noticed German's USK rating system recently added some other console versions.

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